62.1. A generic name retains the gender assigned by botanical tradition, irrespective of classical usage or the author's original usage. A generic name without a botanical tradition retains the gender assigned by its author.
Note 1. Botanical tradition usually maintains the classical gender of a Greek or Latin word, when this was well established.
*Ex. 1. In accordance with botanical tradition,
Adonis L., Atriplex L., Diospyros L., Hemerocallis L.,
Orchis L., Stachys L., and Strychnos L. must be treated as feminine while
Lotus L. and Melilotus Mill. must be treated as masculine. Eucalyptus L'Hér., which lacks a botanical tradition, retains the feminine gender assigned by its author. Although their ending suggests masculine gender,
Cedrus Trew and Fagus L., like most other classical tree names, were traditionally treated as feminine and thus retain that gender; similarly,
Rhamnus L. is feminine, despite the fact that Linnaeus assigned it masculine gender.
Phyteuma L. (n), Sicyos L. (m), and Erigeron L. (m) are other names for which botanical tradition has reestablished the classical gender despite another choice by Linnaeus.
62.2. Compound generic names take the gender of the last word in the nominative case in the compound. If the termination is altered, however, the gender is altered accordingly.
Ex. 2. Irrespective of the fact that Parasitaxus de Laub. (1972) was treated as masculine when published, its gender is feminine: it is a compound of which the last part coincides with the generic name
Taxus L., which is feminine by botanical tradition (Art. 62.1).
Ex. 3. Compound generic names in which the termination of the last word is altered:
Stenocarpus R. Br., Dipterocarpus C. F. Gaertn., and all other compounds ending in the Greek masculine
-carpos (or -carpus), e.g. Hymenocarpos Savi, are masculine; those in
-carpa or -carpaea, however, are feminine, e.g. Callicarpa L. and
Polycarpaea Lam.; and those in -carpon, -carpum, or -carpium are neuter, e.g.
Polycarpon L., Ormocarpum P. Beauv., and Pisocarpium Link.
(a) Compounds ending in -codon, -myces, -odon, -panax, -pogon, -stemon, and other masculine words, are masculine.
Ex. 4. Irrespective of the fact that the generic names
Andropogon L. and Oplopanax (Torr. & A. Gray) Miq. were originally treated as neuter by their authors, they are masculine.
(b) Compounds ending in -achne, -chlamys, -daphne, - glochin, -mecon, -osma (the modern transcription of the feminine Greek word
osmê), and other feminine words, are feminine. An exception is made in the case of names ending in -gaster, which strictly speaking ought to be feminine, but which are treated as masculine in accordance with botanical tradition.
Ex. 5. Irrespective of the fact that Tetraglochin Poepp.,
Triglochin L., Dendromecon Benth., and Hesperomecon Greene were originally treated as neuter, they are feminine.
(c) Compounds ending in -ceras, -dendron, -nema, -stigma, -stoma, and other neuter words, are neuter. An exception is made for names ending in
-anthos (or -anthus), -chilos (-chilus or -cheilos), and
-phykos (-phycos or -phycus), which ought to be neuter, since that is the gender of the Greek words
anthos, cheilos, and phykos, but are treated as masculine in accordance with botanical tradition.
Ex. 6. Irrespective of the fact that Aceras R. Br. and
Xanthoceras Bunge were treated as feminine when first published, they are neuter.
62.3. Arbitrarily formed generic names or vernacular names or adjectives used as generic names, of which the gender is not apparent, take the gender assigned to them by their authors. If the original author failed to indicate the gender, the next subsequent author may choose a gender, and that choice, if effectively published
(Art. 29, 30,
31), is to be accepted.
Ex. 7. Taonabo Aubl. (1775) is feminine because Aublet's two species were
T. dentata and T. punctata.
Ex. 8. Agati Adans. (1763) was published without indication of gender; feminine gender was assigned to it by Desvaux (in J. Bot. Agric. 1: 120. 1813), who was the first subsequent author to adopt the name in an effectively published text, and his choice is to be accepted.
Ex. 9. The original gender of Manihot Mill. (1754), as apparent from some of the species polynomials, was feminine, and
Manihot is therefore to be treated as feminine.
62.4. Generic names ending in -anthes, -oides or
-odes are treated as feminine and those ending in -ites as masculine, irrespective of the gender assigned to them by the original author.
62A.1. When a genus is divided into two or more genera, the gender of the new generic name or names should be that of the generic name that is retained.
Ex. 1. When Boletus L. : Fr. is divided, the gender of the new generic names should be masculine: Xerocomus Quél. (1887), Boletellus Murrill (1909), etc.
Subject index | Index to scientific names
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(c) by International Association for Plant Taxonomy. This page last updated Feb. 12, 2001.